Fooling around with video presentations is a fun way to waste a few nights. This one focuses on lighting, posing, and post-processing of my Urban Ninja photo concept. Aside from the concept and posing, which I discussed previously, this video includes a screencast of the post-processing.
The post-processing for the Urban Ninja images was done in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3. The processing was designed to define and enhance shadow areas of the arms and hands, while the pose of the image is the main element. The face falls off into blackness and shadows, so that the form of the Ninja is focused on by the viewer. Grunge layering techniques were used to add the dark-gritiness I seem to like. Two concrete layers were used here, one I shot in Wintethur, Switzerland, and the second came with the Joey L Photoshop Tutorial DVD. I blended the concrete layers using overlay or softlight, and a few curves and levels adjustment layers were included to better define the shadows. A final color layer was used to give the final color-cast and define the overall image feel. Anyways, to see the full process just check out the video below.
I used black+white adjustment layers to control the shadow depth. With his technique you create a B+W layer, then blend it using Luminosity or, as I prefer Multiply. This darkens the shadows and since it’s a black and white layer, you can go in and adjust the amount of red, green, blue, etc. which is being defined in that layer. This technique can be used in many images so long as you don’t abuse it. In addition to portraits I like to use it for landscape images with a deep blue sky and a collection of clouds. This image below from the Swiss National Park was shot on film with my Fuji GA645, scanned with a Nikon LS-9000 scanner, then worked on in Photoshop, with a B+W layer used to control shadow texture.